Behind the scenes of a fashion photography shoot

model wearing opal jewellery

Behind the scenes of a fashion photography shoot

It’s easy to admire an image of a model; hair cascading down spotless skin, long limbs assembled in an unnatural yet alluring pose, and that unmistakable ‘cat-that-got-the-cream’ composure. In the words of “When Harry Met Sally” the best example of a fashion editorial might have the reader drooling with the sentiment: ‘I want what she’s having’.

Yet, underneath it all, you will find the painstaking and multi-layered efforts of an entire creative team. Here’s a brief peek ‘behind the scenes’.

Setup and preparation

Long before you start shooting, there’s a level of planning involved in any type of fashion photography. The preparation might include: a storyboard, a discussion about location/backgrounds/wardrobe, a call out for hair and make-up artists and a need to take care of those little variables (such as collecting and packing garment racks/changing rooms/screens, checking weather conditions and ease of access to amenities). Naturally, there are all those technical things that go hand-in-hand with managing and operating photographic equipment to consider as well.

Model selection

Model selection is one of the most important elements in preparing fashion photography for a shoot, as events will literally hinge on the reliability, personal presentation, and charisma of the talent. Checking testimonials and reviewing call cards can save you all the drama of using a model who is known to cancel last minute, or has a ‘diva attitude’. Much time is spent on this crucial step in order to match a model’s physical and performance attributes perfectly with the mood, feel and look of an entire campaign.

Aligning expectations

Finally, it would be remiss to ignore that the purpose of a commercial fashion shoot is to align with the client’s expectations. This usually means putting marketing imperatives before artistic sensibilities. Sometimes this can be a bit of a difficult head-space for even the most seasoned of photographers. The internal struggle can be very real!

As you can see, behind all the gloss and glam of the final result of a photographic shoot are the myriad requirements in planning that need to be satisfied first, in order to secure success.


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